Sussex

Crawley homes plan is agreed after 13 years

Plans to build 1,900 homes in West Sussex have been given the go-ahead following a 13-year battle.

Community Secretary Eric Pickles has granted outline planning permission to the North East Sector development in the north of Crawley.

The proposed development near Tinsley has been the subject of a number of legal arguments and planning inquiries.

It was also delayed because of the uncertainty over a second runway at Gatwick Airport.

'Suitable site'

In a letter outlining his decision, Mr Pickles pointed to the coalition document which ruled out another runway at Gatwick.

Critics of the development, which would include 40% affordable housing, had feared the proposed homes would be too close to the airport and residents would suffer noise pollution.

Following the announcement, a spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said: "The council has always said that this is a suitable site for a new neighbourhood but if a second runway were to be built it would create undesirable noise levels for residents.

"This decision means we can now plan the future of the town with more certainty. A new neighbourhood will help the council reduce the pressure on housing elsewhere in the borough."

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